Iowa Specialty Hospital

Ending the Stigma Associated with Mental Illness

October 5, 2018

The following article is from Alexis Morgan, LISW, who is a member of the Iowa Specialty Hospital Counseling & Therapy team.

As mental health professionals at Iowa Specialty Hospital, the Counseling & Therapy team is charged with many responsibilities.  One of those includes advocacy for our patients and the communities we serve in. 

We all know that mental illness is laden with an incredibly powerful amount of stigma.  What is stigma, you ask?  Stigma is a mark of disgrace or infamy; a stain or reproach, as on one’s reputation.  Stigma erodes confidence that mental illnesses are real, treatable health conditions.  Stigma shames people into silence.  This stigma has created barriers around effective treatment and recovery, and we as a team at Iowa Specialty Hospital, believe it is time to take down those barriers.  Doing so requires a combination of education and awareness, which is why we are speaking out this week, National Mental Health Awareness Week.

Did you know that 1 in 5 adults will have a diagnosable mental health condition in any given year? In addition, 50% of Americans will meet the criteria for a mental health condition sometime in their lifetime, half of which will occur before the age of 14.  These statistics call us to question why mental illness is not treated like any other illness, and why it causes us to feel great amounts of guilt and shame. 

A person with a mental illness needs the same things as a person with diabetes or heart disease: SUPPORT, ACCEPTANCE, and UNDERSTANDING.

Let’s work to end the stigma together by wearing green this week!   

If you believe you or a loved one are suffering from a mental illness, please call to schedule an appointment with one of the members of our counseling team.  Seeking help is one more way that together, we can break the stigma associated with this disease. Call 844-474-4321 to be seen in Belmond, Clarion, or Hampton.

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